October 8

Americans envy our constitution

The American shutdown will remind Australians that a similar event would be solved immediately under the Australian Constitution . A  government which ensure supply must resign or risk being  dismissed. This is a matter for the Governor-General.

 A Washington Post article earlier this week, which went viral in Australia, lauded by contrast Australia's arrangement where government and parliament are fused – for its political versatility, citing the dismissal of the Whitlam government as an example. (Another global meltdown at stake as US plays fiscal Russian roulette by Adam  Creighton, The Australian 5 October, 2013)

It says Australia had a government shutdown once. In the end, The Queen fired everyone in Parliament.

The author of the Post article says "You might find yourself wishing that the United States could follow Australia's example: fire everyone in congress, hold snap elections next month and restart from scratch."

In The Australian, Justin Wolfers, an Australian who is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, is reported as being dismissive of a system that allows a schizophrenic congress to foist laws on a president that result in a deficit, and then subsequently threaten to, and potentially withdraw, his power to borrow to implement them.

Adam Lockyer, a lecturer at the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney agrees: "Compared to the Australian system, the US has more checks and balances, and so it is harder to get things done."

For more information on the reserve powers, see our section on this as well as on our site Crowned Republic


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